A Florida painting firm agreed to pay $46,000 in back wages after it was found to have misclassified 26 employees as independent contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division reported.
The division reported the company, Clark Cooper Painting LLC of Jacksonville, Fla., also violated record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
An investigation found that when working on weekends, the painters were paid on a piece-rate basis without regard to number of hours worked, according to the division. The workers’ status was also changed to independent contractor on weekends while they were categorized as employees during the week.
“Far too often, employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them in compliance with the FLSA, as well as other federal, state and local statutes,” says Michael Young, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Jacksonville District Office. “The Wage and Hour Division is vigorously pursuing corrective action in those situations when workers are, in fact, employees, to ensure that they are paid required wages and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”